My PC is dying, I want to switch.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Bootsie, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Bootsie macrumors 6502a

    Bootsie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Utah
    #1
    Well my PC is dying; I had to restart the stupid thing like 15 times last night. (unplug it, and remove the battery to force in off) I am going to try and make it last for a couple more months until either it is redesigned or they have some kind of back to school thing.

    I have a few questions...

    1. I am getting this for school, so it will be carried around with me, I don't have to shut it down to carry it do I? I can just put it to sleep.

    2. I have been planning on the mid model 2.5. Is this worth the upgrade? I want it to be somewhat future proof (i.e. last me for at least 3-4 years, without driving me crazy because it is soooo much slower than the new stuff) Here is what I will be using it for...

    I am a photographer so I will be running Photoshop, and possibly Lightroom a lot, as well as RAW processing in DPP.

    A lot of web browsing. (we are talking several hours per day)

    Word-processing obviously. ( I am planning on getting Microsoft Office for Mac)

    Some gaming (Sims, guitar hero 3, etc.), nothing to extensive for this, I don't play very much.

    I usually have about 3 tabs open in safari and 3 or 4 other programs running at once.

    I will also be using a TV tuner on it occasionally.

    Other random stuff that I cannot think of right now.

    I think that I have decided that the Macbook will not do, I want the bigger screen, and the better-built machine. Now I am trying to decide if I should just go with the 2.4 model. I will be upgrading the RAM to 4GB no matter what. And I am planning on getting the matte screen, although that it still up in the air as well.

    This is my only computer, and I will not (at least for now) be using an external monitor. (Still living with my parents, and there is no room for a desk anywhere)

    Anything else that I should know or be worried about in making the switch?
     
  2. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    It sounds to me like you did your research. I think the MBP is in order over the MB because of the raw image files, and the games that you listed (they don't work on MB's). Since the speed bump between 2.4 and 2.5 (assuming both are Penryn?) is minimal, and that both would accomplish the tasks you intend to throw at it, then go with what your wallet tells on you. :)

    I have a 17" MBP, and am glad I got the bigger screen, but some complain about it's portability. I can't comment on that, as I got the Brenthaven backpack, and thus, the slight size increase is negligible. Personally, I'd suggest the 17", since attaching a monitor isn't an option at this time. Especially since photo editing is in your workflow.

    Be sure to purchase your ram from a 3rd party, as Apple's ram upgrades are overpriced. Check out the Ram Buying Guide. Also, you may want to consider purchasing a keyboard protector, since you'll not be at a desk, and it's so worth the $20 or so, vs. dealing with a spill. Plenty of horror stories about spills if you do a search.

    As far as Apple Care, I recommend it. You don't have to purchase it with the laptop, and can get it within your first year of ownership. It's peice of mind, and it also raises the resale value, should you sell within 3 years. Check out eBay for AC at cheaper prices than at Apple.

    Lastly, I have an older version MBP (2.33ghz), and I've had no issues, regrets, or interest in updating to one of the newer versions that have since come out. It's my main computer, and performs all of my tasks well. I use Adobe Creative Suite, FCP (no HD), Poser, Toon Boom Studio, Logic Pro, etc. Good luck to you. I'm sure you'll be happy with your MBP. :)
     
  3. eddx macrumors regular

    eddx

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #3
    Get yourself a MacBook Pro refurb with AppleCare - thats the way forward if you can afford it.
     
  4. hotdamn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    #4

    or, you know, do the logical thing and use his student discount.
     
  5. ricpac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    #5
    The baseline MBP should be more than enough. And the student discount is the way to go as well.
     
  6. Bootsie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Bootsie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Utah
    #6
    Thanks for your help everyone

    I will definitely be using my student discount.

    I am now leaning more toward the 2.4 model, I shouldn't see a difference with the 512 vram for anything that I will be using it for right?

    It is also posible that I would be doing some recording (for a band) in the future. Nothing extensive, but it would be nice to be able to play around with it. Any problems with this?
     
  7. mags631 Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #7
    No, you don't have to shut it down. I carry mine while it is sleeping in a backpack during a two-mile walk to school and while I'm on campus. No problems. I suggest getting a memory-foam sleeve, e.g., an "incase," to protect it.

    Get what you feels right to you. But I have to say that I am a returning student, after 10+ years using MS Word, Excel, etc. for my job, and I have gone without Office by using a combination of iWork and LaTex. I have no problems affording MS Office, so my doing without has nothing to do with lack of funds...

    I've just started running NeverWinter Nights 2 on my MBPro, and it handles graphic-intensive games just fine.

    Good. I support this decision.

    Note, I had planned on buying an Apple LCD (23") when I purchased this machine, I am glad that I didn't. The 15" screen is more than adequate for writing papers, surfing, etc.

    No, you are making a fine choice.
     
  8. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    Recording your band will be doable, yep. You'll need an interface or a mixer with USB to connect. I highly recommend the Apogee Duet, if it's in your budget. If not, there are several USB and Firewire interfaces out there to connect your mics, etc. I love GarageBand, and considering it's a program that comes with the computer, it's great. If you decide you want more than what it offers, Logic Pro is awesome.
     
  9. hotdamn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    #9
    I recorded my band back in the day with my 1.8ghz Macbook Pro rev A, using both Logic and Garage Band, let me tell you, it was a blast/awesome/perfect. :)
     
  10. mayassa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    #10
    My pc was also on its last leg I went with the student developers site 99.00 bucks then my one lifetime buy 17" HD Glossy, MBP 2.5G saved 600 Bucks then put in 4 Gig memory 26 bucks x 2 then the applecare 239 on student site. called adobe today switched my CS3 and light room over to Mac for free. I think I'm set for a while. Also using Neo office runs pretty good so far instead of office.
     
  11. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    You can just get the 2.4

    The only applications I can see using the additional VRAM are all Windows programs like AutoCAD and Maya.
     
  12. amac4me macrumors 65816

    amac4me

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    #12
    The base MBP 15" inch will serve you just fine!
     
  13. Bootsie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Bootsie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Utah
    #13
    Wow great, thanks so much everyone, this will save me some money. :)

    What about the 7200rpm hard drive, should I upgrade to that? Is is worth it? I think that I will go with the 250GB if not the 200GB 7200.
     
  14. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #14
    I'd go with the 7200 rpm drive, especially if you're doing photo editing. You'll definitely notice an improvement in disk access times.
     
  15. mayassa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    #15
    I went with the 7200 200G extra 40 bucks
     
  16. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #16

    I agree on the upgraded hard drive. The extra gigs are nice, and since the Penryn chips run cooler, the slight temp increases from the faster spinning drives will be fine.
     
  17. kockgunner macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #17
    i wouldn't say it's a matter of logistics. but looking at the Santa Rosa's on the refurb page, saving $500 ($300 more than the education discount) is quite tempting don't you think?
     
  18. hotdamn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    #18
    well yeah but it's no penryn, and he said he wants a futureproof one.
     
  19. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #19
    Nothing is futureproof and Merom and Peryn are essentially the same. If anything the older Merom SR has more L2 cache than the base model MBP with Peryn SR.
     
  20. Bootsie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Bootsie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Utah
    #20
    OK, what about the 6MB cache, would I notice a difference in everyday use with that?

    Also what does the 7200rpm drive do to my battery life? As I said I will be carrying it around to my university classes, so I would like the best battery possible.
     
  21. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #21
    I'm not sure on the battery life toll with the 7200 drive, but you may want to consider getting an extra battery since you'll be using it for classes. Also, check out the Newertech Dual battery charger/conditioner, as it may be worth it for your situation. On the 6MB cache, again, unless you're doing intensive multitasking or CPU intensive work, I doubt that you'll notice. Good luck to you. :)
     
  22. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #22
    No.

    The effect is minimal; also carry your AC adapter around and if you're really in a tight spot, it doesn't hurt to get an extra battery; I have one just in case myself.
     
  23. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #23
    yes i have a 2nd battery aswell, the extra $200 was worth it!

    the new penryn models get AMAZING battery life. my girl friend is consistently getting 6hours out of hers, thats with wifi on and brightness on about 1/3.

    the 7200rpm will be great for you, battery life wont suffer that much really. and the extra 100mhz isnt that much lol.

    probably recommend an external HD, if you dont already have some. or maybe just get your PC HD's, grab an external case for $30, reformat and start again.

    goodluck!
     
  24. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #24
    I bought the 2.16GHz model (the low-end exactly a year ago) and I think even it would be fine for what you're doing. But since they decided to bump up the processor speed twice, you're even better off with the newest stuff.

    Go get the model that costs $1999 and use your education discount. That'll knock you to $1799. Don't get the glossy screen unless you want glare-o-rama. I have a matte MBP and a 20" monitor that I hook it up to most of the time at home. I just could never recommend a glossy monitor.

    I run Photoshop CS3 myself (get the entire CS3 for about $600 at academicsuperstore.com) and have no problems here with 2GB of RAM. If the MBP comes with 2 (I forget offhand), just keep it there for right now. I tried opening about 6 applications at once (Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark, etc.) and wasn't even using 2GB. I ran World of Warcraft on here, so you shouldn't have any problem with any of the games you mentioned.

    As for the hard drive, I'd just stick with the 200GB unless the next step up is like $20. External hard drives are dirt cheap, and those drives like the WD "My Passport" that don't need power cords are really dropping as well (Best Buy has a sale on this week FYI). I am at the max on my 120GB hard drive, but I'd be more than fine with 200GB on here. I put all the video files on an external hard drive on the network.

    Two things you should also consider are the bluetooth wireless keyboard and mouse that Apple makes. I have both (the older full keyboard though) and love having NO WIRES AT ALL. Buy some rechargable batteries and you're good to go. I think I might have to charge my mouse batteries once a month. The keyboard lasts for about 6.

    That's about all I can say aside from find a very good USB hub. I could literally use about 4 on the front, left, and right of this thing (for a total of 12). If you do a lot of photo work, I know you'll buy an external HDD. Get one of the Western Digital My Book drives. You can get a terabyte for a pretty good price now. If you want more portability, get those My Passport drives I talked about.

    Happy Mac-ing.
     
  25. Eric L macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #25
    For what it's worth, when I have Photoshop CS3 Extended/Bridge/ACR/Safari/iTunes/Mail open, it eats up almost all of my 4gb memory, with most of that (probably the 3gb max that PS can use) being Photoshop.
     

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